Gartner: 7 'grand challenges' face IT in next 25 years

Wireless powering of remote devices, natural computing interfaces, automated speech translation in IT's future

Gartner has identified seven technologies that will "completely transform" business over the next 25 years, including parallel programming, wireless power sources for mobile devices, automated speech translation, and computing interfaces that detect human gestures.

"Many of the emerging technologies that will be entering the market in 2033 are already known in some form in 2008," Gartner said in a press release issued Wednesday from its Emerging Trends Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas.

Gartner says each of the seven technologies represents a "grand challenge" for IT researchers and CIOs, who should pay attention to the emerging research today so as to be ready for the changes they will bring.

"Gartner defines an IT Grand Challenge as a fundamental issue to be overcome within the field of IT whose resolutions will have broad and extremely beneficial economic, scientific or societal effects on all aspects of our lives," the analyst firm writes.

CIOs should chart which of these emerging technologies means the most for their businesses and track progress by reviewing related patents, the firm recommends.

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